Date: April 28, 2014

Grant Report – Rookie Smith close to win in second event

Australian rookie Cameron Smith has narrowly missed out on winning at just his second start as a professional.

The 20-year-old Queenslander was pipped for the $US750,000 Indonesian Masters after India’s Anirban Lahiri clinched the title with a spectacular eagle putt on the last hole.

Smith, the 2013 Australian Amateur Champion, finished tied for second with Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun at 16 under the card and one shot off the lead.

He had started the day with the outright lead but stumbled over the front nine of the final round before regaining his composure to battle back into contention before Lahiri sank a curling seven metre putt at the last for victory.

Smith believes his game will only get better after his standout performance at the Masters since graduating from the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier in the year.

“This is my best result so far in a professional tournament," Smith said. "It would have been good to win but I guess this is just another day.

"This has definitely boosted my confidence in my game.

"I hit the ball and putted well. There is not much more that you can really do. I am looking forward to the next tournament on the Asian Tour already.”

Smith banked $US64,000 for his efforts and jumped to sixth on the 2014 Asian Tour money list.

Dimitrios Papadatos was the next best Australian, tied for 13th place at 11 under the card, six shots off the lead.

Victorian Marcus Both finished 16th while compatriot Jake Higginbottom shared 17th spot.

Lahiri, 26, fired a final round 68 to secure victory at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Starting the day trailing Smith by a single shot, Lahiri made a bright start with three successive birdies starting from the second hole but stumbled with a bogey-five on the fifth hole, recovering with another birdie on 12.

His topsy-turvy day continued when, after a three-hour rain delay, the Indian survived a tense finish beating a host of marquee players from the Asian Tour with his last hole heroics.

“My mind was blank when I prepared for the last putt on 18," Lahiri said. "All I told myself was I had to get it into the hole.

"When I was walking up to the greens, I was actually thinking if I need to prepare for a play-off tomorrow morning.

“It’s really great to get my first win outside of India. I have missed out on it for a long time and I am so glad I managed to do it today. I need the world ranking points so I am really happy I can win this week.”

Baek battled an elbow injury throughout and said he was proud of his joint runner-up finish with Smith.

“I actually thought of withdrawing just before the start of the first round this week," he said. "On the first day, I told my caddy if I can par the first hole, I will continue to play. I managed to do that and I moved on with my game.

"On the second day, I thought I should just try and make the cut. I have no confidence at all.

"Until today, I didn’t expect myself to do so well. My elbow got better so I just try and focus on my game. I didn’t look at the leaderboard because I don’t want to give myself any pressure," Baek said.

By: Robert Grant